The Delhi High Court has sought response of the AAP government on a PIL alleging that one of the Child Welfare Committees (CWC) in the city has not been following the Juvenile Justice Act in letter and spirit. It was alleged in the plea by an NGO that the CWC-II at Lajpat Nagar here was releasing children under its care to parents without following the procedure under the Act. As a result, six out of seven kids, who were recently sent away, had gone missing and the seventh was found living in a brothel.
Expressing concern over the issue, a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal issued notice to the District Magistrate of south district as well as the CWC-II and sought their stand on the public interest litigation (PIL) by the next date of hearing on September 18. The petition has alleged that in another such incident of children being restored to their mothers, it was found that one of the ladies was in judicial custody in Tihar Jail on charges of trafficking of minor girls and the two kids released to her were missing.
A total of 18 children have gone missing in this manner, the NGO has alleged and sought an enquiry, headed by a retired judge, into the functioning of the CWC-II. The NGO, Light Life Freedom, represented by advocate Jyoti Aggarwal, sought dismissal or suspension of the chairperson and members of the CWC-II, so that further such orders are not passed by it.
It has also accused the CWC-II of not recommending renewal of licence of its institute, set up to teach the poor kids living under its care at its children’s home. It has alleged that the CWC-II was forcing it to admit the children under its care in government schools, instead of teaching them at its institute. It contended that when these children, many of whom are kids of sex workers, came to its home, they do not know how to read or write in Hindi or English. It has claimed that at its institute, it first teaches the children the basics so that they can then be admitted in good private schools under the economically weaker section (EWS) category.